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Comic Books

Cat vs. Television

Years ago, underground cartoonist Hunt Emerson made a name for himself with a comic strip known as Calculus Cat which… well, let’s just say it’s not about a cat who’s good at math. “”Calculus Cat’s home life is locked in an intense, argumentative relationship with his TV set, which bedevils him with commercials for Skweeky Weets – the world’s most asinine breakfast cereal. His ‘job’ is no better. He is forced to run thought the streets sporting his famous grin as The Public shout abuse and throw rubbish. His world is graphic, black and white, jagged, full in, weird, speedy and loud – everything a comic should be.” You heard it here. Long ago there was a compilation of Calculus Cat comics published, but it has long since gone out of print. Now after a successful Kickstarter campaign, Knockabout Comics have released a brand new expanded collection in trade paperback, featuring brand new pages and a collection of Calculus Cat art by the likes of Dave McKean, Gilbert Shelton, John McCrea, Kevin O’Neill, Kate Charlesworth, and Rian Hughes. Find out more over at Previews. The collection is in stores now.

image c. 2014 Knockabout Comics

image c. 2014 Knockabout Comics

And Birds With Capes, Too

A Disney Afternoon favorite returns to comics as Joe Books (a new publisher out of Canada) presents the continuing adventures of Darkwing Duck — as written by Aaron Sparrow and illustrated by James Silvani, who previously illustrated the Terror That Flaps In The Night for Boom! Studios. This new series picks up where the Boom! series left off — but first, they’re bringing together the complete Boom! adventures of the hero of St. Canard (all 16 issues) in one massive, 400-page full-color trade paperback, Disney’s Darkwing Duck: Definitively Dangerous Edition. Read all about it over at Comic Book Resources, including an interview with James Silvani. Look for the book this January.

image c. 2014 Joe Books

image c. 2014 Joe Books

Birds of a… Well, You Know

An unusual new all-ages miniseries is coming soon from Archaia. Written and illustrated (in full color) by Jorge Corona, Feathers tells the story of a young boy named Poe who is, yes, feathered. But that’s hardly the strangest thing about his world. “A reclusive boy born covered in feathers must help his first-ever friend, a young girl named Bianca, as she tries to return to her home beyond the slums of the Maze. They must dodge street gangs and child-snatchers along the way, and perhaps together will learn the secrets to his mysterious past.” Check out the review over at Bleeding Cool, and look for the first of six issues to arrive in stores this January.

image c. 2014 Archaia

image c. 2014 Archaia

Amphibian vs. Asphalt

AMP! Comics For Kids presents a new full-color all-ages graphic novel written and illustrated by Paige Braddock. “Cecil is a toad. A toad busy doing what any other toad does with its days–judging the pond splashing contest (Reggie the fly is usually the honorary winner by dint of his five-day lifespan), or visiting his friends, Jeff the free-range hamster, Rayray the lizard, Jeremy the worm, or Sprout the frog. And, of course, trying to keep clear of the local hawk. But when Cecil discovers a freeway construction project aimed right at the pond, he knows he has to come up with a plan to save his home. But what can a small group of amphibians and a reincarnating fly do against construction vehicles and a steady onslaught of hot asphalt? Cecil isn’t sure, but he knows they have to try. [This is] the hilarious tale of a group of amphibians (and one free-range hamster) who set out to save their tiny pond home from one very large steamroller. Sometimes big stories happen in small places. Sometimes big things happen to small creatures. This is one of those stories.” Stinky Cecil in Operation Pond Rescue comes to stores in softcover this February. Find out more at AMP!s big daddy, Andrews McMeel Publishing.

image c. 2014 AMP! Comics

image c. 2014 AMP! Comics

Mutagen Gets Around

Another blast from the past over at IDW Publishing as early next year they present the return of The Mighty Mutanimals. From Comicbook.com: “The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ uneasy allies, the Mutanimals, are getting their own minseries from IDW Publishing in February 2015. When someone close to the Mutanimals goes missing, the team consisting of Old Hob, Slash, Mondo Gecko, Herman the Hermit Crab, and Pigeon Pete will be put to the ultimate test, as they try to take on a mysterious new entity known as The Null Group. The series will written by Paul Allor, who has written several TMNT Micro-Seres one-shots, as well as The Ultrom Empire and Turtles in Time miniseries. Andy Kuhn, who created the new IDW design for Mutanimals leader Slash, will provide covers and interior art.” In full color of course.

image c. 2014 IDW Publishing

image c. 2014 IDW Publishing

Mix and Match and Mayhem

We’re not really certain about how “anthropomorphic” it’s going to be, but Creature Cops: Special Varmint Unit is definitely about fantastic animals! “In a world where a rhino can be gene-spliced with a dog, freakish animals are everywhere, and the Creature Cops have to deal with them! From vicious gator-snakes to cute panda-dogs, these animal cops think they’ve seen it all… until they discover a nest of illegal hybrids that resemble mythological griffins, and suddenly find themselves on the trail of a death cult with even darker plans…” Created by writer Rob Anderson (Rex, Zombie Killer) and artists Fernando Melek (Crossed), Novo Malgapo, and Leandro Panganiban, this new full-color three issue miniseries arrives from IDW (and their new partner, Comics Experience) this January. Flickering Myth has a more detailed preview, and there’s even more at the comic’s official web site.

Image c. 2014 IDW

Image c. 2014 IDW Publishing

He’ll Sniff Out the Clues

Well this is perhaps something different… Fables: The Wolf Among Us is a comic book based on a video game based on a comic book. It’s . “Even before the first issue of Fables, there were stories to be told, shadowy avenues to explore, and lives hanging in the balance! Bigby Wolf has seen plenty in his time as Sheriff of Fabletown…but nothing can prepare him for this… It all starts with a simple domestic disturbance. But when Bigby learns that his old nemesis, the Woodsman who has an axe to grind, is part of the scene, things go downhill fast. And how will Bigby and Snow White keep their heads long enough to crack the case when they get caught up in a grisly murder mystery? Vertigo’s first-ever digital-first series, Fables: The Wolf Among Us is a gripping adaptation and expansion of the smash-hit video game from Telltale Games, and an official prequel to Bill Willingham’s bestselling Fables! Written by Fables alum Matthew Sturges (Jack of Fables) and Dave Justus (House of Mystery), with art by Stephen Sadowski (JSA), Shawn McManus (Fables / Fairest), and Travis Moore (JSA All Stars)!” You might also recall that the game was nominated for an Ursa Major Award. The first full-color issue of the comic book series comes to stores this January.

image c. 2014 Vertigo

image c. 2014 Vertigo

And Speaking of Squirrels…

One of Marvel’s most unusual super heroes (and that’s saying a lot!) is getting her own full-color series this January. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl follows the adventures of, who else, Squirrel Girl — perhaps the world’s most upbeat superhero. And with her accomplishments, who wouldn’t be? With the help of her squirrel-like powers and her trusty squirrel sidekick, Tiptoe, she’s taken on and defeated some of the Marvel Universe’s biggest and baddest super-villains. From Entertainment Weekly: “In Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, writer Ryan North [Adventure Time] and artist Erica Henderson [Quantum & Woody] take on the lighthearted superheroine whose mutant gene gives her an endearing cocktail of squirrel-related superpowers. When the comic book begins, she’s starting college—but in no time at all, Squirrel Girl is defending Earth from threats most cosmic.” Check out the interview with Ryan North over at Comic Book Resources.

Image c. 2014 Marvel Comics

Image c. 2014 Marvel Comics

… Turned Him Into A Nnewt!

Have yourself some full-color science fiction adventure with Doug TenNapel, creator of Earthworm Jim, Tommysaurus Rex, and so much more. Now with his new graphic novel Nnewts (based on the web comic) he brings us the story of Herk, “… a lovable Nnewt who longs for stronger legs, something his mother and father wish they could give him. When his quaint village is attacked by the reptile Lizzarks, he’s forced to flee his home and leave behind the only life he’s ever known. Now, all alone and on the run, Herk navigates a dangerous world filled with strange creatures and mysterious wonders, where friends are few and an evil lord is in hot pursuit.” Nnewts, Volume 1: Escape from Lizzarks will be available from Graphix this January, both in hardcover and trade paperback. Check out the official Nnewts Facebook page too.

image c. 2014 by Doug TenNapel

image c. 2014 by Doug TenNapel